Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Products Coming @Botany's Desire
It's about the Tea Cookie........

Here is what Sondra from Botanical Bakeries has to say about her products....
"Ingredients matter. Our gourmet tea cookies are simple. They have but three basic ingredients: flour, butter and sugar. It is our belief that great tea cookies start with great ingredients.That is why we handcraft our tea cookies with all natural organic ingredients. Our flour is unbleached and made from a premium blend of organic hard red wheat. Our butter is European Style Organic Sweet Cream Butter with over 85% butterfat, made in a 1950's small batch butter churn. Our sugar is organic pure cane sugar - no beet sugar here.In choosing our ingredient partners, we seek companies with an artisan approach, each striving to create the purest products possible.We also believe that you appreciate unique flavors and have an adventurous and educated palate. That is why we carefully select the most aromatic culinary herbs and spices.
We use the actual herb or spice, not a tincture or flavoring. The actual leaves, flowers, stems or seeds are incorporated into our dough using our proprietary method.Designed with intention.Our cookies are handmade -- each one hand rolled, hand cut, and hand packaged. Great thought went into the shape of the tea cookie. We tried to imagine you enjoying our tea cookies in a quite moment pouring over a great novel, sitting around a table catching up with a good friend, or perhaps even with afternoon tea. We wanted a shape that sits beautifully on a plate or can snuggle up to a cup of tea or coffee on a saucer. It is meant to be narrow enough to fit into ones mouth and a bitten into delicately with enough to enjoy three our four bites per cookie.We've kept our packaging plain and simple. Uncluttered. Just beautiful photograhpy of the herb or spice. With a tiny raffia bow as embellishment. No extra stickers, ribbons, tissue, cardboard.

Again, it's about the tea cookie.Is it You or the Tea Cookie?We hope our Tea Cookies help call to mind a calm, in-the-moment lifestyle. Our tea cookies compliment tea of course, but we wanted to also invoke the slower, present, not-to-be-rushed moment we are all craving today. One that is reminiscent of the art of making and sitting down to a cup of tea.

Authentic. Distinctive. Unapologetic. Is it you... or the tea cookie?So, because you believe in abundance, because you have a grateful heart, because you know who you are. We have made our tea cookies for you. Enjoy. "

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Stuff @ Botany's...Botanical Inspired
Beautiful New Jewelry from a fellow West Indian. This island girl from Barbados sure has some serious skills in design and craftsmanship.
A little bit about her work:

"A little about me & my work:Though I am self-taught, all of my jewelry is made with the finest workmanship possible: I personally make every item myself, as if for myself. Working in this way, I can be assured that my creations meet my own personal standards before leaving my hands. I pay attention to my tools and techniques, and strive to broaden & perfect my skills on a daily basis. All of my raw metals (wire, sheet, etc.) are recycled/reclaimed metal, and I never use any harsh chemicals during the fabrication process. I use liver of sulfur to oxidize (darken) metal, citric acid "pickle" to clean the metal after using the torch, and a mixture of hydrogen peroxide & vinegar for matte finishes. It brings me such pleasure to bring beauty into other people's lives by way of my little creations. I try to reflect this through my work, and it ends up that a bit of my heart goes out with each piece I create".
These are being made for our shop as I write this and should be in shortly. Limited amounts available as these are custom hand made pieces.
What do you think about them?

Armless sectional..Could this be the one??
Textured basket weave upholstered over thick padding and loose cushions. Kiln-dried hardwood frames and polished-nickel-plated steel legs. Textured solid tweed upholstered over thick padding and loose cushions. Simple assembly. Made in USA.
This could be it. Since West Elm is available in many California cities I will be taking a trip to see it in person. While it is not as long and sleek as the others, the cost is much better. It is not as Eco-Friendly as the other two, but at least it is Made in USA. No made in China for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arghand was founded in May 2005, by Sarah Chayes, a former National Public Radio reporter who stayed behind in Afghanistan to help rebuild the war-torn country. She and a handful of loyal and daring Kandaharis decided to explore a notion for how to add value to celebrated local fruit crops, long the fame of the region. Given the explosion in international demand for fine natural skin-care products, and the abundance of their raw materials in the orchards of southern Afghanistan – almonds, apricots, pomegranates, the precious blossoms of Rosa damascena – Arghand members decided to try to carve out a place for Afghanistan in this young market.

The road, they all agree, has been a voyage of discovery, as they have distilled the blossoms and leaves of wild plants they have gathered on the rock-strewn hillsides overlooking Kandahar, as they have discovered abundant indigenous root-crops, such as licorice root and madder, whose cultivation they can now encourage, as they have found through their own experimentation unexpected properties of pomegranate juice. The result is a unique line of soaps and oils, whose aesthetic beauty and skin-nourishing virtues are truly unparalleled.

Arghand is a cooperative, registered with the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture. As such, it, its assets, risks, and revenues are the joint property of those who contribute their efforts to its activities. Planning and decision-making are carried out by consensus, after consultations among all members. Officers are elected at an annual general assembly.

Arghand’s long-term objective is to contribute to the process of weaning southern Afghanistan off of its dependence on the opium poppy. This scourge is distorting the region’s economy, criminalizing its politics, and putting its people at the mercy of armed gangs and so-called insurgents. Only by expanding the market for licit local agriculture, Arghand members believe, can the rural population be freed from the grasp of opium. Arghand therefore works directly with local farmers for the provision of its raw materials, and over time will be including them among its members.
The idea is to bring these farmers a higher return for their produce by eliminating middlemen, and to help solve their chronic infrastructure problems by picking up their produce at the farm gate, rather than obliging them to bring it to market. In 2005 and 2006, this goal was somewhat elusive, since the security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that villagers fear retaliation by “insurgents,” if they are seen to have connections with anyone linked to the current government.
(Please see “Notes from the Field,” October 31, 2005.) Arghand also hopes to be a channel for new agricultural techniques – organic wherever possible and conservative of resources – as well as general know-how and equipment to participating farmers.
In consultation with weavers from Herat, we have designed a line of women's scarves based on the traditional Afghan turban. One solid color is set off at both ends by two bands of a contrasting color. Arghand soaps are tied with scraps of silk from these same weavers.

These exclusive scarves are made of silk that is hand spun and hand woven on traditional wooden spinning wheels and looms.By offering these scarves for sale, Arghand helps preserve Afghanistan's artisanal heritage.

We are so excited at Botany's Desire to have added these beautiful handmade silk scarfs and soaps that are making a serious global impact. We hope that you will help us support this great organization that is backed by the United States and Canada as well as other countries around the world.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still Searching!!!
Trying to Buy Green is not always so easy on the pockets......
I am still searching for my couch. I didn't get much accomplished much this weekend as far as looking for my couch. Instead we spent the weekend hanging out in the Mountains and visiting friends on the river. I did though find some beautiful eco-friendly options online but the issue always is with the price. I mean I have been eco-friendly before the words were even used outside of my tree-hugger world. My business was started with this as a major factor before mainstream retail world began using the term. But purchasing green furniture is just so darn expensive. Here is what I found this weekend that I really love and sort of similiar to the other one from last week, but really can't afford.

The Santa Barbara Sofa combines contemporary design, comfort, and ecological intelligence. Designer Robert Craymer utilizes natural and organic materials to create his innovative, eco-friendly furniture collection. The sofa frame is made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certifed wood. The springs and screws are made of recycled steel. All glues and stains are non-toxic, water-based and formaldehyde-free. The cushions are made of natural latex wrapped in 100% organic wool and organic cotton with pillows of natural feathers. A wide range of upholstery options are available using natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, hemp, and bamboo.- Made in the USA- @vivavi.com .WHAT MAKES IT GREEN:- FSC certified wood frame- Recycled steel hardware- Non-toxic, water-based finish and adhesives- Natural latex cushions in organic wrap- All natural upholstery optionsPrice:$5,600.00

Dwell's Sweetest Contest Ever!
Hey Dwell readers: Remember Coolhaus? They're the new architect-owned ice cream truck that's been driving around LA from sweet tooth to sweet tooth delivering ice cream sandwiches named after modern architects and architecture. They offer flavors like Frank Behry, Mies Vanilla Rohe, Richard Meyer Lemon Ginger, and most recently Neutrapolitan. Today we're launching a contest to ask you, pun-savvy designophiles, to invent Coolhaus's next ice cream sandwich flavor!
Story by:
Sarah Rich

The Rules:
1. Your submission must include both the name of the sandwich and the type of cookie and ice cream it describes.
2. The name must reference modern architects and designers or their work. Contest ends on June 19!

A Little Help:
To give you a head start, the Dwell team began batting a few ideas around and before long a flurry of puns had swept through our office. (If only coming up with magazine headlines were so easy!) Here's a sampling of our least—and most—cringe-inducing ideas:
Caramel Rashid Pink animal cookies with caramel ice cream (Jordan)
Walter Grapeious Walnut cookies with grape sorbet (Justin)
Cherry Bertoia Cherry ice cream between two waffles (Miyoko)
Shigeru Banana Banana ice cream between sugar cookies with sprinkles (Tiffany)
And in honor of our Dwell on Design 09 keynote speaker: Daniel Pinkberry (Aaron)
Coolhaus owners
Natasha Case and Freya Estreller, along with editors from Dwell, will select one winner from the pool of submissions. The winner will be announced on Friday night, June 26, at the Dwell on Design opening reception.
The Prize:
Coolhaus will produce the winning flavor! The newest sandwich will debut on Saturday, June 27, at Dwell's
Dinner and a Movie event at the Geffen Contemporary Museum in LA.

Your turn!:
Submit your ideas to coolhauscontest@dwell.com. Feel free to submit more than one. Please use the subject line Coolhaus Contest and be sure to include your name, email address, and phone number. We'll announce the winner on Dwell.com for those of you who can't make it to Dwell on Design. But if you're in LA, please join us!

And to get your wheels spinning, check out this video of a
Coolhaus encounter as the ladies serve Honeyhock Ice Cream at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House in LA!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Perfect Couch for me.......
After months and months of searching EVERYWHERE for the perfect couch. I have fallen in love. It is everything I need and want. Clean lines, modern, comfortable, sexy, not too feminine but quite attractive. So here is the problem. This couch design has a wide price range from $5,000 to as low as $999. A wonderful blogger in New York sent me information on where I can get it for under $1,000 but I would have to ship it from New York. Not happening!! So I am on a serious mission people. I am going to get this couch even if I have to live on boxed mac and cheese for the rest of the year.

My Bedroom Inspiration:
Designer Nancy Corzine Creates an Instant Bedroom
If, like Nancy Corzine, you spend more time in your bedroom than in any other room, don't you want it to be as soft, soothing, and comfortable as possible? How about glamorous, too? Of course you do.
By Orli Ben-Dor

I have been working on bedroom decorating ideas for over a year now but had yet to find fabric of inspiration. I knew what I wanted but could not find that one thing that would set it all up for me. Well, several weeks ago I started going through pretty much what is my favorite home decor magazine....House Beautiful. I love how their designs are so elegant, sophisticated, timeless but oh so comfortable and inviting. The fabric designer Nancy Corzine is especially of interest to me because she has amazing fabrics for people like me who have to have neutrals but also need lots of interesting texture and personality.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Another Fabulous Find!!
Luxurious Handmade Home Decor from Hawaii

One-of-a-kindStandard Size Light blue pillowcasesDesign in blackTwo Flowers Design by ccdoodleWater-based ink used and heat setHand-printed on Vitere pillowcases of 65% cotton and 35% soy machine wash cold (best to wash inside out to preserve quality of image) Tumble dry low warm iron if necessary. Each pillowcase set in the line is unique and only one of its kind is ever made. This light blue ultra soft and comfy case is made from high-quality cotton enriched with soy essence. This is a great piece to brighten up anyone's bedroom. The original Two Flowers Design that is used in the women's line is arranged in a vertical and horizontal fashion on each pillowcase. The pillowcase also has a delicate pointelle detail to it on the edge of each case.
Available at Botany's Desire Boutique. Limited quantity available.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Happy JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, well I know I have not posted for several weeks. This very unusual for me, but I just needed a break and some time to get lots of things done. I am making some changes in the shop again and also working on a new project. So I took some time away from the computer. I am looking foward to some new and interesting post this summer. So check back for some summer fun. Have a great day.